• Hana-Lei Ji

Special Report: Speaking to Trump Supporters in Kona

The Saturday following Election Day, thousands around the country joined in celebration as Biden reached the 270 votes needed to win. However, as expected, Trump supporters were furious as they claimed voter fraud. While Trump played golf, his supporters rallied. One rally took place in Kailua-Kona the same Saturday.


Despite the Associated Press calling Pennsylvania’s electoral votes for Biden, many Trump supporters couldn’t accept the results. The popular consensus was voter fraud, but there were some strong opinions about “the deep state” taking over. One supporter claimed that we shouldn’t be counting votes after Election Day because “the Constitution states that November 3...is Election Day. We don’t accept ballots after Election Day.” The first Chris I spoke with explained to me it was listed in Article II, but Article II only determines the day we the people can give our votes. On the issue of voter fraud, Cerrie voiced her opinion that “there's fraud in every single way people that voted.” Cerrie also believes that “we the people are traitors” when it comes to voting and, as a result, we should only be “counting the National Guard votes or only the Electoral College votes.”


PHOTO BY HANA-LEI Ji


A majority of the Trump supporters claimed that Biden’s victory was only a “projection.” They hope that December 14th will proclaim their true winner. When asked about the possibility of the results not going their way, their reactions varied. Some were reasonable and would agree that as long as the government doesn’t try to control us and we have a fair election, “we the American people have to accept it.” However, the first Chris said he would react with “civil disobedience.” He argued that “crooked judges [let] people go for obvious crimes...if they can do it, I can do it.” Additionally, a Biden victory, or—as many supporters wrongfully labelled it—a victory for socialism, seemed to frighten Trump supporters to the point of denial or leaving the country. Cerrie thinks there is no possible way Biden won the election because, “during election night, they favored Trump as the winner and overnight it was different.” Gigi is going to leave the country and reports that Panama “loves Americans.”


Among other election factors, the USA Today reported how the surge in BIPOC voters could have a potential impact on the election. The article goes on to say that the majority of BIPOC “lean Democratic.” A majority of the Trump supporters at the Kona rally were white and, when asked why people of color are not as likely to vote for Trump, the first and second Chris both disagreed with this fact. Based on his personal experiences, the first Chris contends that “my ex-girlfriend… she’s black and she’s 100% Trump...She doesn’t want to listen to what Biden wants to tell her.” While Chris #2 tried to convince us that there is at least one person of color voting for Trump, Chris #1 just argues that “we are all people of color.”


While we worried about Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Nevada, at least we felt secure about Hawai’i staying a blue state (though Chris #1 thinks that the votes in Hawai’i are a fraud as well). However, Hawai’i did gain moreTrump supporters at the 2020 elections compared to 2016. One woman—who didn’t want to give her name—believes this shift happened because “a lot of locals are finding their values not being heard.” There isn’t a clear answer on what Trump did to address “local issues” while in office, but she did “feel that on a national level for sure.” On the contrary, the second Chris doesn’t believe “the Hawaiian people” are politically educated. He criticized Democratic voters in Hawai’i for voting “blue no matter who” and said “they are not willing to listen to something different.” Keeping this in mind, the second Chris feels like their rally in Kona isn’t “going to accomplish a whole lot of anything.” Many of them just wanted to raise awareness and keep Trump “energized” and “strong.” Being among their furious passion for Trump, I’m sure Trump felt so much stronger during his golf trips and while his lawsuits started to get thrown out.


PHOTO BY HANA-LEI JI

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